Ukraine war: Over 20 dead in shelling in Kharkiv as Russian airborne troops land in city

Kharkiv, located near the Russian border, has been battered by Russian troops

Heavy shelling in Ukrainian city of Kharkiv

At least 21 people were killed and 112 injured after a shelling attack on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, as Russian paratroopers attacked the city overnight, marking a week of Russia’s invasion of the country.

“Russian airborne troops landed in Kharkiv and attacked a local hospital. There is an ongoing fight between the invaders and the Ukrainians,” the Ukrainian military was quoted by AFP as saying.

Kharkiv, with a population of around 1.4 million people, is located in the east of Ukraine, near the Russian border. Regional governor Oleg Synegubov said 21 people died in the attack on Wednesday at Kharkiv.

The Euromaidan Press of Ukraine said paratroopers attacked the Military Medical Clinical Centre of the Northern Region.

Russian missile attacks hit the centre of Kharkiv, including residential areas and administration buildings. The city has been at centre of attack following capital Kyiv after Russian president Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine last Thursday.

“Practically there are no areas left in Kharkiv where an artillery shell has not yet hit,” Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister, earlier said on Wednesday.

Mr Putin has been accused of war crimes following a “barbaric” attack that killed at least 10 people on Tuesday. Video footage emerged of the city being bombarded by airstrikes, including in residential areas where dozens of civilians were killed.

It was reportedly the first time that Moscow hit the centre of the city. The Ukrainian emergency service said it put out 24 fires in and around Kharkiv caused by shelling and disabled 69 explosive devices.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 350 civilian casualties have been reported so far, including at least 14 children, since last Thursday. “Nobody will forgive. Nobody will forget,” Mr Zelensky vowed after the attack on the central square in Kharkiv.

Calling the bloodshed in Kharkiv “absolutely sickening”, UK prime minister Boris Johnson said the shelling was reminiscent of the attacks on Sarajevo by the Serbs in the 1990s.

Ukrainian authorities said five people were killed in an attack on a TV tower, near central Kyiv. The attack also struck the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial near the tower.

US president Joe Biden, in his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, warned that if Russia wasn’t made to “pay a price” for the invasion, Mr Putin wouldn’t stop with one country.

Meanwhile, overnight a 40-mile chain of Russia’s armoured military vehicles, tanks and towed artillery advanced towards Kyiv.

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